Lecture: Geological & Climatic Controls on British Viticulture

Speaker: Professor Richard Selley, Imperial College, London

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £5.00

Date and Time

19:30 -


Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Lecture Description

Wild vines have grown in Britain for over 50 million years. Only in the Ice Age of the last 2 million years have vines retreated from Britain during the glacial maxima, returning during warmer phases, such as the present one.

In marginal climatic conditions, such as those of modern Britain, great care must be taken in finding favourable vineyard sites. Soil character, landscape and micro-climate are most important. This lecture will show how geology controls these factors, providing further confirmation that humans inhabit planet Earth by courtesy of its geology. The winelands of Britain are defined by their geology.

Examples include the Pleistocene terrace gravels of the Thames and other rivers, the chalk Downs, with their sunny southern slopes and sheltered dry valleys, and the Palaeozoic rocky rivieras of Wales and the West Country.

There is an associated fieldtrip and wine tasting event on the weekend following this lecture - see field excursions.

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